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Board of Bar Examiners of the Supreme Court of Delaware

When is the next Bar Examination?
The 2015 July Bar Exam will be administered on July 27-29, 2015 at Widener University School of Law.

What is the structure of the Delaware bar exam?
The Bar Exam is two and a half days.  Monday is a full day consisting of 8 Delaware essays. Tuesday is a half day consisting of the MPT.  Wednesday is a fully day consisting of the MBE.  On Monday and Wednesday, the exam schedule is 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  On Tuesday, the exam schedule is 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Does Delaware have reciprocity?
Delaware does not reciprocity with any other state.  The only way to be admitted in the State of Delaware is to take and pass the exam and to satisfy all other requirements (including completing the clerkship requirements and satisfying the Character and Fitness requirements).  There is not a “Lawyers Exam,” and you must take all three days in Delaware including the MBE.

What are the requirements for the MPRE?
The MPRE is required in Delaware, and a scaled score of 85 is passing. Please refer to Board Rule 8 for the time periods in which the MPRE must be taken.

What are the filing deadlines?
The first filing deadline is April 1st, and the late deadline is May 15th.  See Board Rule 5 for details and fee structure.

Where can I obtain the Bar Application and what is required?
The Bar Application is an electronic application and is located on the Board’s website.  In order for an application to be considered filed, it must be complete and all required documents must be uploaded at the time of filing.  Applications filed that are not complete will be rejected. Refer to the Application instructions for a complete list of what must be filed with an Application.

Do I need to be fingerprinted?
Yes.  All Applicants, including Rule 55 applicants, must be fingerprinted and submit a Delaware State and FBI background Report.  See the Instruction Sheet for obtaining these reports on the Board’s website.

When do I need to be fingerprinted and request FBI and Delaware State background checks?
You are urged to submit all background check requests to the federal and Delaware state bureaus of investigation as soon as possible, as the completed checks must be uploaded to your bar application not later than September 1.  It can often take 90 days or more to receive your background checks. Character and Fitness Investigations will not be done on applicants who have not submitted these reports.

Will I have a Character and Fitness Investigation?
Investigations are done on passing applicants only.  Once the results are posted din October, the investigations will begin.  Applicants are assigned to a member of the Board’s Character and Fitness Committee.  All applicants must have a personal interview with the assigned Board member.  The investigations and interviews all take place after the October posting and before admission.

Is there any circumstance that will automatically preclude me from passing Character and Fitness?
Determinations are on a case by case basis.  The Board will look at the overall picture of an applicant’s background.  The Board does not issue advisory opinions on whether or not an applicant may be denied.  Determinations are only made after the complete investigation has been completed.

If I am seeking special accommodations, when must I upload the Application for Special Accommodations?
An Application for Special Accommodations, with all documentation you are relying upon to support the accommodations requested, must be filed at the same time you file your bar application. See Board Rule 15.

When do I need to select and identify a preceptor?
You should select a preceptor as soon in your admission process as possible, but no later than September 1st.

How do I find a preceptor?
A preceptor can be any Delaware lawyer qualified under Board Rules 9 and 10 and Delaware Supreme Court Rule 52.  Often, candidates select preceptors from firms by whom they have been employed or other lawyers or judges for whom they worked or clerked.  If you do not know any Delaware lawyers who satisfy the applicable requirements, you can contact the Preceptor Bank to have one assigned.  The Preceptor Bank information is located on the Board’s website.

I passed the bar exam.  How long do I have to complete my clerkship checklist and 5-month clerkship and be admitted without having to retake the bar exam?
You have until December 31st of the year following the year in which you pass the Bar Exam.  Therefore, if you pass in 2015, you must be admitted to the Bar by December 31st of 2016.  If you need extra time due to extenuating circumstances, you may file a Petition for an Extension of Time. Refer to Board Rule 53.

What is the clerkship requirement?
The clerkship requirement consists of a 5-month clerkship period aggregating 21 full-time (40 hours) work weeks.  The clerkship must be completed IN DELAWARE, under the supervision of a Delaware attorney.  In addition, each applicant must complete a checklist of clerkship items.  The Clerkship Checklist is posted on the Board’s website and a part of the electronic Bar Application.  Both the 5-month clerkship and checklist must be satisfactorily completed before an applicant may be admitted to the Bar.  For more detailed information, please refer to Delaware Supreme Court Rule 52.

Do I have to attend the two-day pre-admission conference?
Yes.  The pre-admission conference is a mandatory for all passing Delaware Bar Applicants.  The conference is considered a session of the Court and is a mandatory precursor to being admitted to the bar.  Attendance at the pre-admission conference is mandatory for anyone who has passed the immediately preceding administration of the bar exam regardless of whether you intend to be admitted at the December admission ceremony. Professional attire is required.

If I pass, when can I be admitted to the Bar?
There is an Admission Ceremony every December for applicants who have met all the admission requirements.  Additional ceremonies are held throughout the year for applicants who need to be admitted at a later date.  Ceremonies are scheduled in accordance with the Court calendar and only a Supreme Court Justice can swear in an applicant.  At the time of Admission, applicants will also have to pay a $100 fee, register with the Clerk of the Court and sign the Roll of Attorneys Book.

Who can move my admission?
Your admission to the bar may be moved by any Delaware attorney in good standing.

I am applying for limited admission pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 55.  Will I have to undergo a character and fitness evaluation?
Yes, all applicants for limited admission under Rule 55, or any subpart thereof, will undergo a character and fitness evaluation.  This includes being required to submit to federal and State of Delaware background checks.  Instructions for submitting to those checks can be found on the Board’s website.  Both checks must be received by the Board before your application can be approved.  Please note that it can take up to 90 days or longer for agencies to complete background checks.

Board of Bar Examiners of the Supreme Court of Delaware
Carvel State Office Building
820 North French Street, 11th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801-3545
(302) 577-7038 * FAX (302) 577-7037